The Cartersville baseball team split two games against Florida schools Thursday in the 2016 Perfect Game National High School Showdown at LakePoint, featuring five teams ranked in the top 50 in the nation by Perfect Game. The Canes won their first-round game but bowed out in the quarterfinals.
The Canes defeated Montverde Academy in the first round by a score of 8-2, but lost in the quarterfinals by a score of 6-0 to the No. 20-ranked team in Perfect Game’s national rankings, Gulliver Prep.
The Canes are now 2-4 on the year. They are eliminated from the tournament, but will take on McEachern today at LakePoint in a consolation game. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Seigler pitches Canes to win while hurt
Cartersville sophomore Auburn commit Anthony Seigler is having surgery today to repair a torn meniscus on his left knee.
The injury makes his performance Thursday afternoon all the more impressive as Seigler pitched a complete game while allowing just one earned run with six strikeouts. He also went 1-for-1 at the plate with two walks, two runs scored and was hit by a pitch.
Behind Seigler, the Cartersville baseball team defeated Montverde Academy by a score of 8-2 in the first round of the 2016 Perfect Game National High School Showdown.
“Guts,” Cartersville head coach Stuart Chester said after the game of Seigler’s performance a day ahead of surgery. “That boy is going under the knife in the morning. He has a torn meniscus, which he can’t do any more damage. Tomorrow morning the boy will be in the operating room.”
While Seigler was dealing on the mound, the Canes were struggling to get much going on offense through the first four innings against Montverde. Cartersville had just one hit in the first four frames.
As a result of Cartersville’s slow start offensively, Montverde was able to take an early lead in the first inning, scoring on a single and a double in consecutive at bats. Montverde then scored an unearned run in the fourth inning after a batter reached on an error, advanced to third base on two errors on pickoff attempts, and then scored on a single.
However, after Montverde scored the run in the fourth, the Cartersville bats began producing. Noah Daniel led off the fifth with an infield single, followed by two bunt singles by Trevor Lowe and Seigler. Parker Tidwell then walked to bring home one run with no outs. Elliott Anderson was the next batter and he hit a groundball to the shortstop, and the throw to second base went into right field, allowing two more runs to score and give the Canes a 3-2 lead.
Through six games this season, Cartersville has scored a total of two runs in the first four innings of games and have scored 21 in the last three innings of games.
“The first three innings, our approach at the plate was awful,” Chester said of the Montverde game. “I really think what changed and got it going was we had a couple of sacrifice bunts. We executed and it paid off, and it got us a little bit of momentum. We took charge and made good on some mistakes.”
The Canes’ bats were back at it in the seventh, scoring five runs to distance themselves from Montverde. Seigler and Tidwell led off with walks. Anderson then executed a sacrifice bunt, and Cole Jamieson came through with a line-drive single to right field to score two runs. Carrington Evans followed with a single of his own, and Zach Yancey roped a double to left-center field to drive in two runs. Parker Roberson followed with an RBI single to give the Canes a commanding 8-2 lead.
“They’re a good, quality opponent, a good baseball team. I’m happy about the win,” Chester said of Montverde. “I’m not completely happy, just the fact we came out flat for about three innings and then finally woke up. Against good programs, you can’t come out flat. We played six good innings against Lambert and got beat. We played six good innings against Johns Creek and got beat. We played six good innings against Parkview and got beat. You can’t come out against good programs and have a letdown.”
Noah Daniel went 3-for-4 in the game with a run scored and is now 5-for-8 in three appearances this year. Thursday’s game was his first start.
“I told him at State Mutual Park, if you can hit, you can play,” Chester said of Daniel. “He’s a prime example of somebody that didn’t play much the first two or three games, got hits and he’ll continue to play.”
Seigler finished his day on the mound allowing five hits, three walks and struck out six.
“First inning, I wasn’t doing too well,” Seigler said. “I wasn’t throwing strikes. In the innings after that, I was just throwing strikes, let my defense work behind me and we were getting breaks on offense.”
Chester said recovery from the knee surgery will take two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the tear.
Seigler threw left-handed Thursday and has pitched 13 innings left-handed on the year, allowed no earned runs and a total of 10 baserunners with 13 strikeouts.
“I feel like I’m better lefty right now,” the ambidextrous pitcher said. “It’s a work in progress to get my right side where my left side is.”
Cartersville also was without its other sophomore Auburn commit as Devin Warner missed his second game with a groin injury. Senior Auburn commit Elliott Anderson, meanwhile, has a lung infection called Pleurisy, but played Thursday.
“We’re really piecing things together,” Chester said. “When we started the game, nobody on the infield — other than Jacob [Fowler] behind the plate — got defensive time last year. We have a new person at third, short, second, first.”
Gulliver Prep 6, Cartersville 0
The No. 20-ranked team in the country jumped on Cartersville early in Thursday night’s game at LakePoint, and the Canes could not recover as they fell to Gulliver Prep by a score of 6-0.
Gulliver scored one run in the first inning, three runs in the second and two more in the fourth.
Ian Inaba came on in relief and pitched two shutout innings to close the game out, but the damage was already done.
Cartersville recorded four hits, singles by Anderson, Jamieson, Yancey and Lowe.